Septic Installation Issues

2 Replies

Hey everyone,

I purchased my home in December 2015 with a new septic system installed, paid for by the seller. Soil conditions were dry when I moved in, but I noticed that there was a runoff in my lawn running down from the field. I have contacted the engineer, excavator and town regarding issues with water runoff. Everyone involved has said that the soil here is very clay packed, which it is, and does not filter well. Also, the water table is fairly high. They believe that water is coming upward through the field, and it's not the field failing to percolate through the soil. There solution to the problem was to install a curtain drain before the field, on the hillside.

My question is, since this system is only around 15 months old, who is responsible for fixing the issue? The issue has been happening since installation, so I would think it would be the engineer who did not account for runoff and the necessity to install a curtain drain. I know the excavator just went off of the engineers plans, so as long as they installed the correct soils, they should be fine. When I asked the engineer, what would happen when I go to sell the house, and the field fails only a few years after installed. He suggested that I sell during the dry season when the field isn't completely saturated. I feel the engineer should be responsible for resolving this issue... Not sure if I should contact an attorney or what they are legally liable for here.. Any advice is greatly appreciated.  

I'm not sure if you have a case but I would definitely contact an attorney. I agree with you that the engineer should be held responsible and hopefully his suggestion to sell in the dry season is in writing because that's irresponsible on his part and would probably not sound good to a judge. In our area they have to do a perc test before installing a septic system and the results determine whether they can install a traditional septic (much cheaper) or a mound system. It sounds like your system is a traditional septic field but should probably have been a mound system.

Thanks @Nicholas W. , unfortunately he just gave me that "advice" over the phone. They did elevate the field, but I'm not sure if it just wasn't high enough, or the lack of a curtain drain is the issue. 

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